I'm no -ome fan either and my interest in neologisms prefers the ridiculous over the calculated. If they pretend seriousness they should be allowed to evolve in a kind of organic way. When there's a burning need for a word like lexome to enable people interested in the concept to discuss it, then we'll have it, ie. it's the concept or referent that defines what 'clothes' it should wear.
I'll just don my grouch hat here and register my loathing for the vast majority of these 'ome' and 'omics' neologisms. They have been proliferating through the biological sciences at an alarming rate over the last decade. In a few cases (genome, proteomics), the meaning is clear and well-defined; however, many of the new coinages are vague and ill-defined* and give the distinct impression of being the result of a bandwagon effect. Left to their own devices, academic types will churn out grant proposals, and will find it hard to resist the trendlet du jour. And what could be simpler than just adding the currently fashionable suffix 'ome' to convey the impression of being au courant, right out there on the bleeding edge of interdisciplinary research? Sprinkle your proposal with a few references to the promise of 'technology' applied to huge databases - essentially an appeal to the power of wishful thinking, and sit back and wait for that grant money to come rolling in.
The fact that most of these new coinages lack any sort of clear definition, or that data mining is a poor substitute for clear thinking, doesn't appear to bother a lot of folks. But it bothers me. Before lexome gets my vote, I would need to see some evidence that it is more than a mere bandwagon coinage whose precise meaning remains regrettably fuzzy.
May I also say--in the same way the sequencing of the genome was in fact just the beginning of a much larger project, understanding the human lexome will eventually require...an immensely larger project.
And since humans have only 23,000 or so genes, whereas the number of words probably reaches into the hundreds of millions, we're talking—well—long-term grant proposals at best.
I've nominated lexome for Wordie Word of the Year (woty07). Much as I like lexisphere (where this thread started), lexome is more powerful.
I asked whether a lexome was the vocabulary of an individual, a language, or a species, but it is most illuminating at the species level. The human lexome encompasses all words in all human languages. Someday SETI may discover alien lexomes. Maybe blue whales have their own lexome.
Just as genetic technology enhances our knowledge of the human genome, Internet technology enhances our knowledge of the human lexome. In the next ten years, most of human knowledge will come online. We can now study words in the field and observe their origins, nuances, mating rituals and evolution, where before we relied on dictionaries to determine existence and meanings.
Even as technology reveals the unimagined scope of the lexome, languages and words are going extinct at unprecedented rates, as are species and genes. Just as invasive species and monoculture crop species displace untold diversity, a few dominant languages and cultures impoverish our linguistic word. We must use genomics and lexomics to fight extinction.